Category Archives: Faculty News

Theatre and Dance professor receives international award

Professors Patricia “Patch” Clark, School of Theatre and Dance, and Eleanor Kane from the University of Shimane, Japan were presented with an award at the International Global Partners in Education 9th Conference held in Ekaterinburg, Russia for their collaborative work, “Global Storybook Theater,” May 11th, 2016. They also made a presentation at the conference, “Telecollaboration versus Face-to- Face Interaction – A CLIL 4Cs Perspective on Collaboration in Drama EFL.

Clark

Professor Patch Clark

ECU Students have been working with the University of Shimane, Japan for the past three years through video linking and eventually were able to travel for face-to-face performances. Both ECU students and USJ students were able to perform a joint-performance and reflect on which interaction they preferred. USJ also invited traditional performing artists to put on a grand show for the ECU students.

Starting in November 2012, ECU and USJ have been sharing various stories and performances across the world. By October 2015 both ECU and USJ put on a joint-performance in a 3-day face-to-face workshop in Japan.

ECU is overjoyed for our own Patch Clark for her award and recognition in the collaborative work, “Global Storybook Theater”. ECU Storybook Theatre combines talents of students from across all theatre art disciplines and teaches younger audience members the enjoyment of the performing arts along with the excitement of books and reading. Some productions include Charlotte’s Web, The Snow Queen, and Reaching for the Stars.

For more information about Storybook Theater or to say a warm Congratulations to Patch Clark, you can contact her at clarkp@ecu.edu.

–Michael Crane

ECU pianist to perform at Smithsonian dedication

East Carolina University faculty pianist John O’Brien will be performing with University of North Carolina soprano Louise Toppin at President Obama’s Freedom Sounds dedication of the Smithsonian’s new African American History Museum on September 24 in Washington.

O'Brien

O’Brien

Conceived and presented in festival fashion, Freedom Sounds programming will include musical performances, spoken word, oral history activities and evening concerts. The three-day music festival presents artists who represent the numerous cultural threads encompassing African diasporic histories and traditions.

O’Brien and Toppin were invited to present a program entitled “Songs of protest: then and now” to celebrate the musical contributions of African American composers.

Visit https://nmaahc.si.edu/visit/faq for more information.

–Harley Dartt

Annual announcement of Phased Retirement Program

Chancellor Staton announces the annual availability of the Phased Retirement Program for eligible tenured faculty members at East Carolina University. Individual letters to eligible faculty members are sent to home academic units. If your faculty appointment does not meet the program’s eligibility criteria for age and years of service, you will not receive a letter of invitation to participate in the program. If you do not receive a letter but believe that you should be eligible based on program criteria, please contact your respective vice chancellor’s office for assistance.  

Additional details about the Phased Retirement Program are available at: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/provostvc/formsandinfo.cfm

Questions about the Phased Retirement Program should be directed to Linda Ingalls at 252-943-8584 or ingallsl@ecu.edu (Office of the Provost) or Lisa Hudson at 744-1910 or suttonli@ecu.edu (Division of Health Sciences). 

Whisnant chosen as 2016 Whichard Distinguished Professor in Humanities

East Carolina University soon will welcome Anne Whisnant to the faculty as the 2016 David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities.

Anne Whisnant

Anne Whisnant (Photo by Evan Whisnant)

“I am honored to have been chosen to join the faculty at East Carolina as the Whichard Distinguished Professor,” said Whisnant, who most recently served as director of research, communications, and programs in the Office of Faculty Governance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “I look forward to getting to know ECU and Greenville and look forward to engaging with ECU students, faculty and staff in their efforts to better understand and interpret East Carolina’s history.”

Housed within the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the professorship is made possible through a generous donation by the Whichard family in honor of David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard of Greenville. This year, the Whichard Professorship is hosted by the Department of History.

“The History Department is excited and honored to host Anne Whisnant as the Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities for the 2016-2017 academic year. Her scholarship and experience as a public historian will strengthen the department, college and university,” said Chair of the Department of History Dr. Christopher Oakley.

As Whichard Distinguished Professor, one of Whisnant’s roles is to teach a course each semester. While at ECU, she will teach North Carolina history and a course in digital public history.

“ECU has been a leader in taking proactive steps to address the complicated legacy of its past as it looks forward to its future,” said Whisnant. “In my teaching of North Carolina history and digital public history at ECU, I hope to be able to make a contribution to this important conversation and find ways to connect it to state and national efforts to employ public history approaches in fruitful ways.”

“We look forward to professor Whisnant helping us continue our ongoing discussions of race, historical memory and public commemoration,” said Oakley.

Whisnant received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Birmingham-Southern College in 1989, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1991 and ’97 respectively. She completed post-doctoral coursework at North Carolina State University in 2002.

Over the course of her career, Whisnant has melded her academic administration and teaching with an active public history practice. Her research interests focus on public history, digital history and the history of the U.S. National Parks.

–Lacey Gray

ECU College of Education dean named to state board

Dr. Grant Hayes, dean of East Carolina University’s College of Education, has been elected to the board of directors of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. His two-year term began July 1. 

The organization’s mission is to “shape a world-class public school education that supports all children in reaching their full potential and drives a vibrant North Carolina economy,” according to the Forum’s website at www.ncforum.org.

Dr. Grant Hayes (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Grant Hayes (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Established 30 years ago, the Forum has launched several programs including the Beginning Teacher Network, Education Policy Fellowship Program, Teaching Fellows Program and the NC Center for Afterschool Programs.

“The Forum is composed of an impressive and well-rounded group of individuals who are working hard to advance and improve North Carolina’s public schools through research, policy and advocacy,” said Hayes. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this work.” 

Each year, the organization chooses 10 education issues to address; the 2016 list is below:

  • Direct adequate resources to public schools, teachers and leaders
  • Transform the profession to make North Carolina a teaching destination again
  • Emphasize quality, not quantity, in charter school growth
  • Elevate race as a focal point of public education
  • Fix the broken A-F grading system
  • Support the state’s struggling schools
  • Maintain high standards for North Carolina
  • Make evidence-based decisions on expansion of private school vouchers
  • Expand access to high quality early childhood education
  • Build bridges for students through expanded learning. 

To follow or join conversations, the Forum can be found on Twitter at #EdTalksNC, on Facebook and at www.edtalks.ncforum.org/.

–Jessica Nottingham

Dickins appointed to American Accounting Association Committee

Associate Professor Denise Dickins has been appointed to the Auditing Standards Committee of the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA). The AAA is the largest community of accountants in academia, with the mission to promote worldwide excellence in accounting education, research and practice.

Dr. Denise Dickins (Photo by ECU Marketing & Publications)

Dr. Denise Dickins (Photo by ECU Marketing & Publications)

Dickins has taught at ECU’s College of Business since 2006, where she primarily leads courses in auditing and corporate governance. A seasoned executive, she served in various roles with Arthur Andersen from 1983 to 2002, concluding as partner-in-charge of the South Florida Audit Division. She earned her Ph.D. from Florida Atlantic University in 2006.

Her research interests include the impacts of mandatory auditor rotation and auditor offshoring, and she has published more than 75 articles in academic, pedagogical and practitioner journals. Dickins also serves on the Editorial Advisory and Review Board for Issues in Accounting Education, one of the three primary publications of the American Accounting Association.

She continues to generously fund an annual scholarship for business students in honor of her family’s legacy at East Carolina, which began with her husband’s grandmother in 1925.

–Jennifer Brezina

Wieland awarded 2016 Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor

ECU’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences inducted Dr. Liza Wieland as Distinguished Professor at the college’s annual convocation on August 19.

Wieland, professor of English and THCAS Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development, is the 18th member of the faculty to be honored with the title of THCAS Distinguished Professor.

Dr. Liza Wieland (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Liza Wieland (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

“I’m thrilled to have been chosen to join the ranks of this excellent group of teachers, scholars, mentors and servants to the College,” said Wieland. “From the very beginning of my time here, the University has been unwaveringly supportive of my work with grants and release time, and now this award, all of which serve to acknowledge that the arts matter at ECU.”

The THCAS Distinguished Professorship is the highest honor within the college and is conferred upon a professor whose career exemplifies a commitment to and a love for knowledge and academic life, as demonstrated by outstanding teaching and advising, research and creative productivity, and professional service.

“Dr. Wieland’s amazing record of creative activity, inspiring teaching and dedication to ECU and its mission are indeed distinguished. She exemplifies the best of ECU,” said Dr. Marianne Montgomery, chair of Harriot College’s Department of English.

Throughout Wieland’s years of academic service to ECU, she has displayed the qualities and characteristics required of a Distinguished Professor.

In her academic role, Wieland has exhibited great range, teaching courses in Beginning and Advanced Fiction Writing; Beginning Poetry Writing; Introduction to Creative Writing; Special Topics in Creative Writing: Theories of the Novel; Appreciating Literature; Interpreting Literature; and Literature from the Writer’s Perspective: Contemporary Irish Fiction. She has served on both the English undergraduate and graduate committees, as an English undergraduate advisor, on an ad hoc committee to study undergraduate English curriculum and on the ECU Honors College Advisory Board.

Wieland has taken on addition roles and initiatives in her areas of research and creative activity. In 2008, she was appointed fiction editor for the North Carolina Literary Review and in 2010 she co-founded and co-directed the ECU Contemporary Writers Series.

Over the course of her career, Wieland has authored eight novels, collections of short fiction and books of poetry. Her fiction, poems and essays have appeared in 13 anthologies and more than 40 published magazines and journals. She has participated in more than 80 lectures, conferences, workshops and public readings on topics related to her writing.

In recognition of her many professional talents, Wieland has received a Research and Creative Activity Reassignment Award, Harriot College Research Award, twice received the Department of English Research and Creative Activity Award, and in 2013, received full funding from the ECU Office of the Provost for the BRIDGES Professional Development Program for Women in Higher Education.

Letters of nomination from colleagues within and outside the ECU community laud Wieland for contributions to her field, adding to the impressive case for inducting her into the prestigious group of Thomas Harriot Distinguished Professors.

“With enthusiasm and without reservation, I urge you to select Professor Wieland for a Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professorship,” writes a colleague in a letter of support. “Administrators, faculty members and students all testify that Liza Wieland is a riveting and inspirational teacher. Her literary achievement is internationally admired. Her fiction is a national treasure that brings a great deal of positive attention to East Carolina University. Her career has been one of sustained excellence.”

Wieland received her Ph.D., M. Phil. and M.A. degrees in English and Comparative Literatures from Columbia University in 1988, ‘85 and ‘84 respectively. She received her BA degree in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard College in 1981.

–Lacey Gray

Fenich Receives International Hospitality Award

The International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) recently honored Dr. George G. Fenich with the Stevenson W. Fletcher Achievement Award, recognizing his many contributions to the field. Fenich serves as a professor in ECU’s School of Hospitality Leadership, which is now housed in the College of Business.

Dr. George Fenich (center) receives the Stevenson W. Fletcher Achievement Award with Dr. SoJung Lee (left) and Dr. Robert Bosselman (right) from Iowa State University.

Dr. George Fenich (center) receives the Stevenson W. Fletcher Achievement Award with Dr. SoJung Lee (left) and Dr. Robert Bosselman (right) from Iowa State University. (Photo courtesy ICHRIE staff)

The award, which was bestowed during ICHRIE’s annual summer conference in Dallas, Tex., recognizes an individual educator or trainer for outstanding achievement in contributing innovative ideas, methods or programs that have advanced teaching, learning or practice in the field of hospitality and tourism education. The award recipient must demonstrate exceptional professional ability and/or commitment through service to ICHRIE and/or to the hospitality industry and education.

Fenich has helped to shape the hospitality industry for nearly three decades, and he has dedicated his academic career to the advancement of research, scholarship and teaching. Before moving into academe, he worked in the industry.

Today, Fenich serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Convention and Event Tourism, a top ranked academic journal.  He also sits of the Editorial Boards of six other journals. He has published three industry textbooks, more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and has made more than 150 presentations in the U.S. and abroad to benefit the industry. He has also delivered education programs around the world, from China and Japan to Turkey, France, Mauritius and South Africa.

In 2015, Fenich was inducted into the first Hall of Fame class for the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).  He also received the Educator Honoree Award at the 2015 Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Education Foundation Dinner Celebrating Professional Achievement.

–Jennifer Brezina

Professor’s forecast model predicts election results

East Carolina University political science professor Dr. Brad Lockerbie has developed an election forecast model that has correctly predicted the outcome of each presidential election since 1996.

Lockerbie

Lockerbie

Lockerbie said he got interested in election outcome forecasting after attending a panel on the 1994 midterm election and seeing the forecasts fail to predict the massive swing in congressional seats picked up by the Republican party.

There are many factors that can be considered when developing a forecast model, including poll results, popularity ratings and economic conditions.

“Mine is a very simple model that says there are two major factors,” Lockerbie said. “The first is that the longer a party has been in the White House, the harder it is to retain it. The second is people’s economic expectations; if you think your outlook stinks, you’re not likely to vote for the same party.”

The forecast model has been accurate in predicting the national popular vote in each presidential election, he said. It does not take into account the Electoral College.

“The closest to being inaccurate was 2000,” Lockerbie said. “Even then the prediction was right on the popular vote,” but the Electoral College result was different.

This year, Lockerbie’s model predicts a very narrow (50.4 percent of the two-party vote) presidential win for the Democratic candidate and zero seat change in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would result in a continuation of divided government at the national level.

Lockerbie’s forecast model will be published in “PS: Political Science and Politics,” a publication of the American Political Science Association. It will also be included in Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a compilation of election forecasts published online by the University of Virginia at centerforpolitics.org/crystalball.

–Jules Norwood

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